Fewer and fewer people are getting vaccinated at Nashville’s primary hub for COVID shots. So first doses will stop being offered at the Music City Center on May 7.
The site will close completely at the end of May, giving everyone time to get their second dose at the same place. The facility will also be able to return to hosting meetings and conferences.
“We’re just seeing a significant fall off in the number of people that are coming through to get vaccinated, and it doesn’t make sense to have that much space when we’re only seeing smaller and smaller numbers there,” says Dr. Gill Wright, interim health director for the city.
Until closing, the city will also offer as many as 1,000 walk-in vaccinations on weekdays. The option to come without an appointment only started this week, but only about 150 a day have been showing up.
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The Metro Public Health Department will continue its new drive-thru site on Murfreesboro Road and pop-up vaccination events at houses of worship and community centers. Private health systems will also continue to provide vaccines, and they have plenty of supply at this point.
“You literally could walk down the street and get a vaccine right now,” Dr. Alex Jahangir, the city’s coronavirus task force chair, said at Thursday morning’s press conference. “We have made every ample opportunity for people.”
Nashville’s vaccination rate, with roughly 38% of residents having at least one dose, is higher than most other counties in the state. Still, the city will likely fall short of its goal to hit 50% by May 1.
Public health officials say the recent hesitancy can be attributed to a combination of factors: the news of the safety concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well as the continued plateauing decline of new COVID cases in Tennessee.